Archive for August, 2010

August 31, 2010

>terrible twos tuesday: i fractured my toe…

>And sprained two others in a freak accident involving the baby gate at the top of the stairs. At midnight. With a wide awake toddler in the other room. Not her fault, and I’m certainly not blaming her. Just a tired mama!

And on that note, this post will be short today.

But I do want to remind you that I am giving away my Moby Wrap! Click here to find out how to enter.

August 30, 2010

>i’m giving away my moby wrap


I’m giving away my Moby Wrap!
August 30, 2010

>starting the week off "on a positive note"…

>Beth over at Laugh Until You Cry is starting her Monday’s out “On a Positive Note” and I think that is a great idea! If you’d like to participate, write about something you are feeling good about this Monday morning and link up by clicking through Beth’s button below.

On A Positive Note Button

This Monday morning I’m feeling good about a couple of things… 

1) I had a successful trip to Colorado with Hayden to take care of some business. While it was difficult as it was, in essence, taking over my late father’s business and truly having to make big decisions on the business when I would normally turn to him for advisement. I stepped up to the plate and, I think, made some sound decisions.

2) While we had hoped to put a final coat of paint on Hadley’s room yesterday, we ended up getting some garage clean up handled. And we didn’t have to pay a hauling service! Things on the house front are coming together!

How are you starting your week “on a positive note”?
August 30, 2010

>must have monday: my moby wrap

>Let’s try this again…

I’m giving away my Moby Wrap. Sorry for the SNAFU last week, but it’s back up for grabs!

When Hayden was brand new I decided to take Hadley to a Gymboree birthday party on my own, with both kids. Hayden at the time was colicy and suffering from reflux, and during that event, decided to be miserable. And she screamed. And screamed. And I was forced to let people I didn’t know help watch Hadley. Of course, nobody watched her as close as I would and I was very upset that I couldn’t handle it myself.

Having been in my situation, a mama at the party told me of her experience with the Moby Wrap. She felt like she could keep her colicy baby close, nurse when she needed, and keep up with her busy toddler. Because I own three other baby carriers, I looked for this item used on Craigslist just in case it wasn’t a hit. I purchased a clean, chocolate brown Moby from a local mom of four for a substantially reduced price and we were off.

After learning how to wrap the baby up, Jonathan and I both used the Moby with Hayden and we used it until she was 12 weeks or so. Then it was just too hot and muggy here, baby wearing was not comfortable for her or us. NOW, she sits up and sits wonderfully in my pouch sling, so it’s time to retire the Moby.

So I want to giveaway my Moby Wrap to another mom who wants to try it. Or is already a Moby user and wants another. Or you are someone who knows someone who needs a Moby. I just want to share the love because, albeit a short stint of using the Moby, it did help us.

Here’s what you need to do to enter:

Mandatory Entry: Leave a comment on this post telling me you want it. Be sure to leave your email address. If there is no email address, your entry will be void.

Additional Entries: You can do one, or all of these for more entries, but you must complete the mandatory entry before these will be counted.
* Vote for me on Top Baby Blogs. It just takes two clicks. You may do this once daily for additional entries. Leave a comment after each vote.
* Follow me publicly on Google Friend Connect. Click the box on the right sidebar. Leave one comment here for entry.
* Follow me  on Twitter. Leave one comment here, include your Twitter handle, for entry.
* Like me on Facebook. Leave one comment here, include your Facebook name, for entry.
* Tweet about this giveaway: (copy) @MinimalMom is giving away her Moby Wrap. to enter to #win #giveaway You may do this once daily for additional entries. Leave a separate comment for each tweet.

There are two mom’s who entered the giveaway last week prior to the SNAFU and I will honor an additional entry from each of you. Just post twice for the mandatory entry. I know who you are and anyone else who tries to tell me you are them will be disqualified, so don’t even try it.

Contest ends Sunday September 5th at 11:50 p.m. CST.

For those of you who prefer new gear or don’t win the giveaway, you can buy a (new or used) Moby on Amazon! Click through the button (it uses my associates ID) to purchase online.

August 30, 2010

>culinary adventures in baby food

>We’ve started Hayden on solids a few weeks early… But the kid is hungry and growing like a weed! And while she’s consuming cereal and one or two veggies once a day, I figured this would be a great weekend to start stocking the freezer up with yummy eats for Hayden and use up some of that produce that didn’t get eaten over the week.

On today’s menu is apples, carrots and butternut squash.

I try to keep things simple and efficient, so I am only spending 30-45 minutes a week (on a Sunday) preparing food. The idea being to build up my stock of food every week in our freezer, therefore lots of choices are always available.

And to keep things even more simple, I use the guidelines of the book “So Easy Baby Food” (see Amazon widget on right sidebar) for cook times… And I use the microwave…

The same cooking concept can be used for most pureed fruits and veggies. Wash. Peel. Add a little water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave. Blend. Allow to cool. Place in ice cube trays. Cover. Freeze. Transfer to marked freezer bags. Repeat.

Stay tuned as we embark on more culinary adventures in baby food.

— Post From My iPad (so please forgive typos)

August 29, 2010

>vivid memories of a color blind (earless) man

>I’m writing my entry for Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop a bit late because I was traveling this week and was posting via my iPhone, which is no good past a picture and a few words of text. So I am writing and posting this today, Sunday, in the wee hours of the morning.

If you are interested in participating in Mama Kat’s Writers Workshop, click through the button below to sign up!

Mama's Losin' It

“My childhood neighbor” was an old man named Mr. Dull. 
Mr. Dull was an elderly man who lived next door to us. Like many of the properties, ours included, his home was situated on an acre or so of land where he harvested macadamia nuts, tangerines, cumquats, cherry tomatoes and who knows what else.  He sold these items at farmers markets and often shared with his neighbors.
Mr. Dull was a widower. I don’t know much about his wife, but she was gone before we moved into the house next door when I was a year old or so. He was a hunched over old man, who was a cancer survivor, having lost one of his ears (that’s right, he only had one ear) to cancer, was color blind, often roaming his property in mismatched old man socks, shorts and suspenders. 
An interesting character to little kids, right? 
I remember my mom leaving him dinner on the fence and my dad going over to help him with odd and end things. Sometimes he would talk to my brother and I through the fence when we would pick the blackberries that grew on the fence that separated our properties.
His home was not carpeted. Nor with hardwood, lanolium or tile. It was concrete. And he had a vinyl restaurant booth in his kitchen. My parents insisted he hosed his house out once a month instead of vacuuming. (Mom, if you read this, maybe you can comment on this topic)
A vivid memory I have of Mr. Dull was of a visit in  his front yard. My mom (or dad, or both, I really can’t remember) were visiting with him and I was playing, running back and forth between his yard and ours. At one point I picked one of his cherry tomatoes. Why I did this, I don’t know. I was never a fan of anything tomato. But I picked one of HIS cherry tomatoes. And he asked me “Are you going to eat that?” I told him “no” and as quick as I uttered that word, he stuffed that tomato into my mouth and said “You pick it, you eat it.” I learned my lesson… And I am still not a tomato fan.
I don’t remember when Mr. Dull passed away. Or how. I think I was away at college when it happened. I don’t know if he was at home or in a hospital. If he had family with him or if he was alone. I’m embarrassed to admit not knowing these details as he was such a vivid part of my childhood home. 
But he died. 
A new family bought his property. Tore down his home and built a brand new, huge home in its place, removing his cherry tomato plants and macadamia nut trees.
August 27, 2010

>family friday: grand junction visit with hayden


Morning snooze in her grandpa’s corner at Main St Bagels

Mom, why the hat?

Cool street art.

A farmers market treat.

Good food…

And wine.

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

August 26, 2010

>hayden – five months

>Hayden, my love,

Today you are five months old. And as usual, you have developed so much over the last few weeks. But you and I are traveling this week and my blog posts are happening on my phone, so I can’t write the novel I’d like to without making myself crazy.

Instead, here is a picture of my gorgeous girl from this morning.

I love you to pieces,

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

August 25, 2010

>wordless wednesday: traveling


– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

August 24, 2010

>ttt guest post: new evolution in teacher led playgroups

>Hayden and I are flying off to Colorado to take care of some business, so I have a wonderful guest blog for today. 

J.C. Conklin is co-founder of Gorgeous Millie, a soon-to-open teacher led playgroup for mom’s and kids 0-3 in the Austin Area. This is such a cool concept, especially since at playgroups I am dealing with two kids and leave stressed out. If someone knows of one of these in the Twin Cities area please let me know about iit.

Check out the Gorgeous Millie site and follow them on Twitter.


By J.C. Conklin, co-founder of Gorgeous Millie
I am terrified of leaving my children with nannies, mother’s day out programs, daycare or preschools. My fear has been confirmed again and again. We fired a nanny after she passed out at lunch with my children. Luckily I was downstairs working. The sound of chaos brought me to the kitchen. She blamed cold medicine. I thought the rum I smelled on her breath contributed.
My oldest son, (he’s four) is in the best preschool program in Austin, Texas. There’s a wait-list for two years to get in. Most people sign up when they find out they’re pregnant. His teacher told me that at other preschools she saw teachers force children’s heads down on mats during nap time because if they slept the teachers got to take a break. His preschool has no nap and has one way mirrors so the parents can watch anytime. Now I realize how lucky I am. 
I have been hesitant to put it mildly to place my children in anything I’m not there for until they can talk. I can’t risk it. But I want them to see other children on a regular basis. I want them to learn. And I desperately need a few minutes to breath while they are distracted. 
When a friend of mine in Washington DC told me about a teacher led playgroup she belonged to I was happy for her and envious. Mothers became members and they limited membership so the group was never crowded. The teacher led the children, ages 0 to 3, through music and art classes and supervised free play for three hours three days a week. She suggested fixes when mothers struggled with how to deal with different behaviors. The moms could talk some and have a cup of coffee. The kids socialized. The moms learned about early childhood development.
The teacher led (and fee based) playgroup is the newest evolution in early childhood education. Most cost $300 a month, some cost more. It sounded steep to me, especially since the parent is there the whole time but you are paying for 9 hours a week or 36 hours a month of instruction. I paid $75 a month for 45 minutes a week or three hours a month of instruction from Gymboree.
Washington DC has four groups with wait lists. Blue Igloo was started by the owner of the Washington Post’s grand-daughter because she couldn’t get into the other groups. Portland, Maine has the poshest one I’ve seen. They all have long waitlists.  Two different groups in New York City are planning on opening next year. I am stepping outside my comfort zone and starting one with my friend, Laura Jacks. Gorgeous Millie will open in Austin in January. Its website is 
The groups come with a bit of controversy. Some mothers say, “Why should I pay for a playgroup?” Others are more pointed, “It’s sad when you have to pay for something that you should organize in your neighborhood.” 
I say every playgroup that is mother-led I’ve heard of has broken up after a few meetings because of unresolved disputes (there’s no objective third party like a teacher who can step in), no neutral territory and irregular hours. Personally, I want to learn more about early childhood development from a professional while my baby sits next to another baby and pushes cars around. I would love to talk to other moms a few mornings a week . I crave some structure to my day besides nap, bath time and meals. But every mom is different and that’s one of the joys of life.